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Old Today, 04:47 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by sharingfantasies View Post
I understand the coal miners side. It is their lifestyle and their job. It is their way of feeding their families. I understand that they have some deep trust that Trump is going to single-handedly open the mines again.

I understand that the market for coal has changed dramatically over the past couple of decades, if not longer, so many houses and businesses wouldn't be able to use coal even if it was being produced again at the amounts it was being produced before.

What I don't understand is, given how difficult and deadly working coal mines is, why coal miners wouldn't want to be trained in doing something else. Something less hazardous to their health. How do they figure they can support their families if they are dying of lung disease or caught in a cave-in? If they are being given an opportunity to improve their lives, the lives of their families, their children, why do they want the mines reopened?

I guess it comes back to the lifestyle. "My family has worked in the mines for generations so I should also" thinking. But then I want to shake them and say, "Your family has died because of those mines for generations, that doesn't mean you have to also."
It has more to do with identity than it does with the actual job. It doesn't matter that they could get blown up, get black lung, or have a mountain fall on them. They identify has "hard working Americans" and not "lazy liberals/blacks/eggheads/etc."

Thomas Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas is a good place to start for an answer.
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Old Today, 05:40 PM   #27
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Buggy Whip weavers faced the same problem at the turn of the 20th Century. Only they weren't tearing the earth apart and dumping the waste in river valleys!

The trick will be if the West Virginia Government will look after the displaced miners and develop another industry that can employ those rednecks so they don't get up to mischief, like trucking Weed to Chicago?

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